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Milla J.!

by Andrew Green

Today I've got a film starring the perfect woman, Milla Jovovich. She's been in a handful of good movies, and a bucketful of lousy ones. This one is really of the latter variety, but what are you gonna do? Know what I mean?

I mean, c'mon. It's Milla J. Of course I'll still watch it.

.45 (2006)

Netflix description:

"Trapped in a dangerous life of crime, Kat (Milla Jovovich) wants to find a way out, but first, she'll have to escape from Big Al (Angus Macfadyen), a vicious drug dealer with a powerful hold over her. The situation becomes even more tense when Big Al's trusted henchman (Stephen Dorff) falls for Kat. Soon, the two devise a complex plot to take out the crime lord. This thriller is a potent mixture of jealousy, revenge and intrigue."

If anything, .45 proves that Milla J really DOES have genuine acting talent (I've always known this to be the case, but there are certain elements in the movie-going public  that can only measure acting ability by how many gold statuettes an individual has been awarded -- sadly, Milla has none, and ain't never gonna get none). 

Some of the violent scenes in this film are so gut-wrenchingly realistic that even I found myself cringing. Milla gets the living daylights beaten out of her by her insane petty criminal of a boyfriend, Big Al, and boy does she do a good job of making it seem authentic. If you wanna hear a woman shrieking in agony for ten minutes, then .45 is for you! Really, Milla is subjected to some serious poundings that seem to drag on for far too long. I'm not sure if these scenes enhance the film's realism or just make us uncomfortable. Either way, they're well-played.

Eventually, Milla decides to kill Big Al, and enlists the help of Stephen Dorff to pull it off. Things get more complicated when a lesbian social worker becomes involved, and other stuff happens. The plot, although simple, does keep us wondering most of the time what will happen next. In your average movie, the abused girlfriend would somehow solve everything and walk away, but from the get-go, it's pretty obvious that .45 is not your average movie, so it's difficult for us to predict until the very end how things will pan out.

What's really interesting here are the characters. I liked all of them -- Milla J, Dorff, the lesbian...heck, I even kind of liked Big Al. Some of the interactions we get to watch between Milla, Al and various gun runners can be a little ridiculous (come on, how tough can these people really be?), but they're also fun, and I enjoyed the clever flourishes of profanity that stream from each character's mouth for practically the entire 90 minutes of this film. Consider the violence, cursing, and graphic sex scenes, and one thing's for certain: .45 will never be shown on TV!

In the end, .45 is a well-acted, and even dramatically intense, little film that suffers from one major problem: it's just painful to watch. I mean, sure -- it's a well-crafted picture; but is there any reason to see it? What do we gain from watching a woman battered and bashed like this? The story here is fairly interesting, but really, the world's probably better off if it's just not told.

2 out of 5.